Lesson 13

Lesson 13: BHFM and The Stoic Advisor

Weekly Habits for Success - Daily Task to The Habits for Success


In a letter reflecting on his “advancing years,” Seneca observed that nearly everything in life is circular—there’s an opening and a close, a start and a finish, but it all comes in a circular manner. He writes about the comfort he finds knowing that life’s greatest pleasures are found where the circle is rounded out. “Fruits are most welcome when almost over; youth is most charming at its close… Each pleasure reserves to the end the greatest delights which it contains.” The ultimate example of this circularity? Mornings and nights, Seneca says. And “every day ought to be regulated as if it closed the series, as if it rounded out and completed our existence… let us go to our sleep with joy and gladness.”

So as you reflect on the past few months and “the habits of success” that you are starting to develop, think about the finishing touches you can put on these habits and on your life.

Since none of us want to start from square one every morning, you need to put in the time and effort the night before and think about the changes you need to make. What did you do right, what did you do wrong? How can I build on what I did right? How will I better handle what I did wrong?

This “review process” is something new that you’re going to add to your nighttime routine to put a cap on your day and relieve your mind of any thoughts other than the need for blissful sleep.

In addition to the questions from two paragraphs ago, ask yourself these questions every night (you can answer in writing or just in your mind, you pick):

  • What behaviors were you surprised to realize you repeat every day?
  • How much time has preparing in the evening saved you in the morning?
  • What’s one specific thing you could have done better in months 1 and 2?

NEW HABIT: Ask the questions in this lesson.

NEW TASK: Make a list of these important questions, make it available to yourself so that you can ask yourself these questions every night.